I want to hear your beery tall tales, yarns, recollections (in a Grandpa Simpson stylee) or otherwise, delivered in the manner that befits sitting around a log fire, favourite beer in hand. Only proviso is that it has to involve beer in some way.
For my contribution I’ve also collected together a few random tales I’ve read that could loosely be considered beery yarns, at least they all involve pubs.
A Noted Liar
I’m hoping there’ll be some contributions along the lines of the World’s Biggest Liar Competition that’s still held in Cumbria each year at the Bridge Inn, Santon Bridge. Story-telling competitions occured in pubs here in Cambridge too:
“One of the ways in which people have always found pleasant relaxation at the end of a day’s work is in either listening to or narrating good stories over a glass of ale.
As the evening progressed the tales tended to become more exaggerated and improbable, and many elderely Cambridgeshire people have recalled that it was customary to reward the narrators with some token of their listeners’ appreciation. The award usually took the form of free beer, but there were other prizes – a ‘silver’ cup, crudely made of thin tin and suitably inscribed; a ribbon rosette or a medal. These were usually kept in the public house and solemnly handed to the teller of the story which was judged to be the ‘tallest’ of the evening.
In 1964 a blacksmith-made iron ‘medal’ bearing the words ‘The Noted Liar’ was found in the garden of the Pike and Eel at Chesterton. This inn was a popular meeting-place not only of local people, but also of the watermen who used to work on the barges and lighters which carried goods between King’s Lynn and Cambridge. It is very probable that this medal was pinned to the coat of many a good story-teller” (Cambridgeshire Customs and Folklore, Enid Porter, 1969)
Unfortunately that particular riverside pub closed a few years ago and faces demolition to be replaced by flats, bringing to an end that story.